Source: Vientiane Times
The authorities have postponed Sim card registration until the end of June, citing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with all unregistered Sim cards to be disconnected from July 1.
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, as the telecommunications regulator, issued a notice on December 27 concerning the postponement, referring to difficulties experienced by subscribers in remote areas.
Registration will take place in three stages over a period of about six months.
From January 1 to May 31, telecommunication service providers will continue the registration of both in-use and new Sim cards using the 020 and 030 codes. Unregistered Sim cards can still be used to receive calls, make calls and connect to the internet as usual.
During the second phase (from June 1-30), unregistered Sim cards (both phone and net cards) will be able to receive calls but will not be able to make calls or access the internet, except for emergency calls. In this case, any remaining money or data will be stored in the system.
From July 1 onwards, phone numbers (using both phone and net Sim cards) that have not been registered will not be able to receive or make calls. Data Sim cards will no longer be able to connect to the internet.
Telecoms operators will store unregistered numbers for subscribers, who can re-subscribe to them within 30 days.
The ministry instructed telecommunication service providers and their branches across the country to register phone numbers through LaoKYC before putting them for subscription beginning on March 1 next year.
The ministry warned of penalties for service providers who did not comply with these procedures.
People who have unregistered Sim cards will lose their phone numbers if they fail to register them by July as the ministry will authorise telecoms operators to assign them to other subscribers.
The ministry called on line ministries, ministry-equivalent organisations, provincial administrations, provincial Departments of Post and Telecommunications, and telecommunication service providers to encourage subscribers in Laos and overseas to register their Sim cards within the set timeframe.